This summer at the library’s Harry Potter birthday party, we feasted on some Harry Potter themed snacks. Offering food at a public program can be tricky. There are a lot of allergies and other dietary requirements out there, so be very careful about what you’re putting in your goodies. Obviously nuts are a big no-no, but some things you might not think of: gelatin for example. Gelatin is usually made from animal bi-products so vegetarians/vegans/kosher/halal/etc. cannot eat it. (Be advised: Maynards candy (like Swedish Berries) does not use gelatin, so these are OK!). It might seem obvious, but it wasn’t something I’d ever thought of until someone asked me “Is there gelatin in this?” I try to be as careful as I can, and always keep a list of ingredients on-hand just in case.
I’m writing this up waaaaay late, so I don’t have any pictures. I will add them later if I can 🙂
Anywho. Thanks so much to this BuzzFeed list, for getting me started on my Harry Potter bake-a-thon. I made:
- I had definitely never worked with pumpkin before. NOT a fan of pumpkin pie. Or pumpkin spice anything. Booo-urns to all fall things that are pumpkin spice. I used this recipe to make my pumpkin pasties. I made the dough and filling by hand. Pretty sure I ended up using a lid off of something to cut the dough, and a bottle of olive oil to roll it out. My kitchen was under construction and some of my things were packed away – had to get a little bit creative. MacGyver would be proud. (Also, MacGyver is the name of my cat.) Because I didn’t have a proper rolling pin or cutter, I did struggle to get the dough flat enough and the cut circles big enough – causing the filling to come bursting out a little bit, but what can you do. I also had quite a bit of filling left over, which was great, because I used it for pumpkin juice!
- Many of the recipes for Cauldron Cakes that I found out there are based on the cakes you can get at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (the happiest place on earth). These are double chocolate, dipped in chocolate, coated in chocolate, with chocolate icing. Sounds fabulous, but too much work for someone making 80 of them. I made Duncan Hines chocolate cupcakes. I can’t remember if I made two or three batches – but I made a lot. Cupcakes are not my thing, I’ve never liked them, hence I can’t be bothered to make them from scratch. Like I say, Duncan Hines chocolate cupcakes, and Duncan Hines vanilla icing. I added green food colouring to the icing (or frosting, depending on where you live) and mixed it up real good. I took a spoonful out of the top of each cupcake (after they were baked), to create a hole. I filled the hole with green icing and used a small licorice strip to make a handle. Alternatively, if you put a large marshmallow in the top of each cupcake before you bake them, the marshmallow will slowly melt, leaving a sugar-encrusted hole in the top of the cupcake.
- I considered a few different Skiving Snackbox recipes, and decided this one looked the tastiest. I’d say though, that this was my least-successful treat. The red side is supposed to give you a fever, so it’s flavored with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I didn’t make mine too spicy, since kids would be eating it, just enough to give it bite. Then the blue side is meant to cool you down, so it’s flavoured with mint and vanilla. This side was tooooo sweet! Not surprising considering that otherwise this is made up of condensed milk and white chocolate. Next time, I will make the red side spicier and the blue side mintier.
Chocolate Frogs and Peppermint Toads
- The best part about these (other than being candy), are the boxes. Thanks a million to whoever put the printable templates online, they really made everyone’s day. The first thing you need is a frog shaped chocolate mold. I would have thought ot would be easy to find these, because of the popularity of Harry Potter, but not so much. If I had been more organized, tehre are great ones to be found online, however, since I left it to the last minute, I found myself driving around cleaning out Bulk Barns all around town.
- Peppermint Toads: I used this recipe (template for the box is also there!). These were fun and easy. I actually ended up making them in the little staff kitchen at work (much to my coworkers’ annoyance). They are made of white chocolate and marshmallow fluff (and flavouring and food colouring). Marshmallow fluff, before you spend hours wandering the aisles of the supermarket, is found with the ice cream sundae toppings. Just a heads up.
- Chocolate Frogs: after I’d made the Toads, I used the same chocolate molds to make my Chocolate frogs. I just melted down some milk chocolate and poured it into the molds, then put them in the freezer to harden. I printed the boxes for the Frogs from here. We also started to print out Chocolate Frog Cards, but ran out of time and energy, so some of the boxes had Cards in them, some didn’t. I’ll try to do better next time!
- I kept both the Toads and the Frogs in the fridge up until party day, so that they wouldn’t melt – a big issue in July, not such a big issue if you’re having a HP party in, say, November.
- I have tried many Butterbeer recipes. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Super complicated and super easy. For this event, I went with super easy and non-alcoholic (obviously). I added butter extract flavouring, rum extract flavouring and yellow food colouring to cream soda! Easy peasy. I couldn’t find clear cream soda, so my Butterbeer was still pink, but super yummy! I also printed new labels for my soda bottles. If anyone knows where I can get clear cream soda (in Ontario), please let me know – I hit 4 different grocery stores before I gave up and just made it pink.
- Soooo not something I thought I would like, but surprisingly delicious and refreshing! Really easy too. Take one cup pumpkin pie filling (I used the leftovers from my pumpkin pasties!), one cup apple juice and half a cup of pineapple juice. Blend. Done. Mmmmm. Might take a little bit taste testing to get the consistency you want – that pumpkin pie filling is thick. Recipe from these smart people. I meant to top off my pumpkin juice with whipped cream, but ran out of time. Sigh, maybe next year.
- These are ones I didn’t actually finish. My intention was to get sour flavoured lolly pops, wet them, roll them in PopRocks, and package them up individually. Couldn’t find PopRocks, couldn’t find sour lolly pops. Like I said, I was rushing around at the last minute, so next year I will try a little harder. I ended up just giving out regular lolly pops. They are simple, cheap, and individually wrapped. Bam.
Every Flavor Beans
- Now you can buy these, Jelly Belly makes them. They are awesome. They are expensive. I got some regular jelly beans and put them in little individual treat bags. No one really wants a vomit flavored jelly bean anyway.